Pep Guardiola admitting defeat in the title race has sent out huge cheers at Merseyside. The league title is finally coming back to Anfield after 30 years. Yes, there is still half of the season left to think about lifting the famous trophy, but there is a growing belief that the 14 point advantage has put daylight between the Reds and the chasing pack.
Manchester City were seen as the realistic title contenders alongside Liverpool, but the inconsistency shown by Guardiola’s men coupled with Klopp’s team putting together an amazing run have effectively bought a premature end to the title race.
Premier League history has seen some spectacular comebacks over the years. One should not forget the comebacks made by Manchester United against Newcastle in 1996. If any team is capable of making a comeback, then it would be City. The rich squad can be enhanced even further in the upcoming January window. Liverpool, meanwhile, still have a lot of games to negotiate before they can lay their hands on the silverware.
Apart from the challenges offered by other competitions like the Champions League, Liverpool also have a thinner squad than the competition. So far, Klopp has managed in such a way that it has not been a problem. Yet, how long can he manage the same whilst focusing on other competitions? The impact of the Champions League will be felt only in the months of March and April. If Liverpool do well in the upcoming FA cup and other cup competitions, it would mean further games for the thin squad. Strangely, this is not the biggest problem the Reds face.
After 18 games and numerous challenges, Liverpool have been unassailable. The team has dropped just two points so far. As time goes on, though, there will be an inevitable talk about matching the achievements of the famous Arsenal team of 2003-04.
The record of finishing an entire campaign without a defeat is so tough that just one team has been able to achieve this status. In the recent past, Liverpool have been one of the teams who have been spoken of as being capable of going through a season without defeat. Even Klopp has been through that situation already at Anfield. A reason for this feat being a tough nut to crack is the huge pressure associated with matching a record set by an incredible team.
This pressure has haunted several teams in the past. After having picked up the Club World Cup, there is a reason to expect satiety and overconfidence amongst players. These are factors that would contribute to a defeat. It will be interesting to see how the team respond in that scenario.
This Liverpool team has shown the ability to hold their nerves to win a cup competition like the Champions League. However, they have fallen short in the Premier League simply because they have been unable to sustain this position for long periods. This time around, things seem a lot different. Maybe the league title is heading to Anfield after all!